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    The past is gone

    Fatih Özatay, PhD16 November 2013 - Okunma Sayısı: 1128

    There is a regression to the mean. This is not the fate of Turkey, of course. What we need is to realize that the past is gone and make a fresh new start.

    It is the middle of November already! How time flies. It feels like just a few days ago that I was planning the year 2013. How is that possible? How did I spend the entire year? Columns, classes, conferences, revisions for new editions of my books Financial Crises and Turkey and Monetary Economics (contains advertisement), a couple of articles, and etc. True, time appears to have run fast for everyone in my age group, but wasn’t it far too fast this time?

    Indeed, the issue here is not that it is the mid-November already. My desk at home is full of fancy books to read. I keep them right on my desk as I decided back on the New Year’s Eve assuming that I would actually read them if I see them every day and they definitely limit my workspace. The other day I mentioned one of these fancy books on my desk and told that I regretted not having read it before.

    But the big disappointment was still lying on my desk, I noticed. A couple of weeks ago I picked one from the pile. The book was published in 2011. It was resting on my desk for about two years and it was the white-cover book next to the red one until that day. It is important to organize your bookshelf by the color of their covers, right?

    Anyway, what is the real issue if it is not it’s already being mid-November? Here it goes: the book I selected was one of those with a white cover, one that I picked up simply for matching the colors. I now realize that I should have read that one a long time ago. The author is a psychologist who won a Noble prize in economics in 2002: Daniel Kahneman. The name of the book is Thinking, Fast and Slow.

    Unemployment figures for August were released yesterday. We are back at the average level before the global crisis: 10.1 percent. The seventeenth chapter of Kahneman’s book is on this inevitable doom: “Regression to the mean.” This holds not only for unemployment. There is a regression to the mean in inflation and GDP growth as well. This is not the fate of Turkey, of course. What we need is to realize that the past is gone and make a fresh new start.

    This commentary was published in Radikal daily on  16.11.2013